Frances Ethel Butler passed into Heaven on June 16, 2022 in Riverbank, California. Francie was born January 2, 1929 to Francis Alva and Ethel Sagustine Clark of Knights Ferry, California. She went to grammar school in Knights Ferry and graduated from Oakdale High School. At Oakdale High Francie was active in sports. She and Pat Dunlap Carpenter partnered in gymnastics, and she won the women’s tennis championship twice. During World War II Francie drove a grain truck at harvest time for a neighboring rancher though she wasn’t of legal age to drive.
She met her husband, Tom Butler, while he was working on the U3 Ranch in Knights Ferry. They married January 19, 1953 in Tulare, California. Francie and Tom moved to Livermore to work for “Doc Root”. There she showed his horse and won the Ladies Reining Class. In October of 1954 they moved to La Grange to work for Paul Erickson. Francie and Tom would go to the mountains every summer to care for the cattle. She said it was the happiest time in her life. In 1970 they established their home on the Randall Ranch north of La Grange. They enjoyed working together raising cattle, horses and dogs until Tom passed away December 1, 2002. This last year and one-half Francie was well cared for in Riverbank.
Frances is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Tom, and five siblings. She is survived by four nieces, Patty Biddle, Sheryl Flores, Scarlett Weiner and Shannon Butler, and many lifelong friends.
Graveside services will be July 8, 2022, at 10 a.m. at the La Grange Cemetery, La Grange, California.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
June 29, 2022